Archive for the 'Ask an Expert' Category

Q&A: What is a remedy for our leaky flat roof?

<p><a onclick=”window.open(this.href, ‘_blank’, ‘width=800,height=561,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false” href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/08/29/modernhome2.jpg”><img title=”Modernhome2″ height=”210″ alt=”Modernhome2″ src=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/images/2007/08/29/modernhome2.jpg” width=”300″ border=”0″ style=”FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 5px” /></a><strong>Question</strong>: We own an apartment building in North Hollywood that has a totally flat roof. Every few years we install a new composition roof and it starts to leak again. We believe that the solution lies in providing [...]

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Q&A: What is a remedy for our leaky flat roof?

Question: We own an apartment building in North Hollywood that has a totally flat roof. Every few years we install a new composition roof and it starts to leak again. We believe that the solution lies in providing a pitched roof. Would you know of any companies that could install a totally new inclined roof. [...]

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Got a remodeling question?

I’ve assembled a panel of Southern California remodeling experts ready and willing to answer reader questions on this blog. Do you have a question for a: Contractor? Green builder? Carpenter? Feng shui consultant? Architect? Home inspector? Loan broker? Landscaper? Decorative painter? Real estate agent? If your question involves a design issue, please include a clear [...]

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Ask a Contractor: How do we recycle demolition waste?

Question: We’re tearing down part of our 1940’s home to make room for an addition, and also gutting our kitchen for a major remodel. I hate to see all this end up as trash. How can we recycle some of this material? Answer: From my experience interviewing remodeling homeowners, the dread of an older home [...]

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Q&A: Where have all the arched windows gone?

<p><a href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/08/20/jenkinswindow.jpg” onclick=”window.open(this.href, ‘_blank’, ‘width=285,height=357,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”><img alt=”Jenkinswindow” title=”Jenkinswindow” src=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/images/2007/08/20/jenkinswindow.jpg” width=”299″ height=”375″ border=”0″ style=”float: right; margin: 5px 5px 5px 5px;” /></a><strong>Question</strong>: My husband and I were arguing about retrofitting windows the other day. We were out on a walk in a neighborhood with some beautiful little Spanish-style homes. One thing I love about them is [...]

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Q&A: Where have all the arched windows gone?

Question: My husband and I were arguing about retrofitting windows the other day. We were out on a walk in a neighborhood with some beautiful little Spanish-style homes. One thing I love about them is their large, arched front windows. One thing I hate is when homeowners upgrade their windows and replace them with those [...]

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A designer’s tip for budget granite counters

I asked local designer Enid Harris if she could recommend anyone who sold granite counters really cheap. Here’s what she said: “I don’t have any low-budget granite or slab people . . . nor would you want one! The best tip I can offer is the one I used: Ask a stone setter if they’d [...]

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Dear Green Builder: I’m obsessed with granite countertops . . .

. . . but I’m also obsessed with green building. Do I need an attitude adjustment? For some new ways of thinking about this, I consulted a green builder: Question: My dilemma is that I love granite counter tops and yet I want to do a green remodel. I’ve heard that granite is out of [...]

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Ask a Realtor: How important is master suite in upscale area?

Question: I am buying an older home with four smallish bedrooms. (actually two are very small and two are OK). I can either keep all four bedrooms or use one to expand the current master bath (which is a 3/4 bath). To add a tub to the master suite, I need to sacrifice the smallest [...]

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Ask a Realtor: Play room or large laundry room better for flipper house?

Question: We bought a beautiful two-story, five-bedroom home in an excellent area of Newbury Park for resale. However, there is very little storage in the house and a very small laundry room, which feels more like a long closet. I read an article in The Times lately about laundry rooms being the next big renovation [...]

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Ask an Expert: Repair or replace damaged deck?

Question: My house was built 20 years ago with a second-story redwood deck that is about 250 square feet. The deck has been stained, power-washed and decently maintained. But some of the deck joists and all four uprights have been diagnosed with dry rot/fungus and dry-wood termites. Should I replace the damaged joists and uprights [...]

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Ask an Expert: Is entire property reassessed for taxes after an addition?

Question: Over the past few years I have remodeled every square inch of my small 1921 home near Venice Beach. During that time the property value has increased significantly. I would like to continue to improve the property by adding a garage, three more bedrooms and two more bathrooms. The home is about 1,000 square [...]

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Ask a Realtor: Will an open floor plan bring in top dollar?

Question: We are planning a remodel of our home which is about 1,400 sq. ft. We currently have a large living room (357 sq. ft.), a dining room (136 sq. ft.), and a kitchen (125 sq. ft.) we are planning to remodel. We are thinking of possibly opening up the walls between these rooms to [...]

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Ask a Contractor: Is a retractable glass wall leading to a deck feasible?

Question: We’re adding a deck and are thinking of either a NanaWall (retractable window wall) or going with more traditional French windows. The basic idea is to integrate the outdoor and indoor spaces. Have you had any experience with such construction and/or any tips on what approach is preferable? The NanaWalls are certainly more money. [...]

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Ask a Realtor: Extra bedroom or amazing closet better for resale value?

Question: We are a couple living in a four-bedroom house. I would like to take a bedroom adjacent to the master and turn it into a walk-in closet and dressing area, and use some of the space to enlarge the master bathroom. My husband is concerned that losing a bedroom will decrease our selling price [...]

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Ask a Realtor: Does laundry room or larger kitchen bring greater value?

Question: I have a galley-style kitchen with a laundry room on one end. I want to move the washer and dryer to the garage, remove the wall separating the laundry room from the kitchen and use that space to make my kitchen bigger. But when I sell the house, will buyers balk at the washer [...]

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Ask a Contractor: Alon Toker

Ever wish you could ask a licensed contractor some remodeling questions with no hint of pressure to sign a contract? Here is your chance. This week’s guest expert, contractor Alon Toker, will be answering your remodeling questions online through Sunday. Here are the facts: Name: Alon Toker Title: President Company: Mega Builders, Chatsworth Contractor’s License [...]

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Ask a Green Builder: How green is bamboo flooring?

Question: I am interested in taking the carpeting off the floors in my condo (I think there is plywood underneath), and putting in bamboo flooring. Is this something a do-it-yourselfer like me could do? Also, I heard that some bamboo is not really “green” and comes from countries where ecological damage is done to harvest [...]

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Ask a Landscaper: How do we install patio columns?

Question: We are preparing to install a cover on our courtyard and want to use fiberglass columns as the corner braces. Do we need to attach these to our pavers (and how?) or will the weight of the attached cover be sufficient? Answer: From Pamela Berstler of Flower to the People: For this answer, I [...]

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Ask a Contractor: How much to upgrade 1950s home?

Question: My husband and I are looking for a home in the San Fernando Valley and are finding a lot of 1950s-era homes in our price range that need some serious updating. Is there any rule of thumb we can use as a guide to estimating what these remodeling issues may cost? I’m interested in approximate [...]

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